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First cases of exclusive paternal care in stink bugs (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae)

We describe paternal care in two pentatomid bugs, Lopadusa (Lopadusa) augur Stål, 1860 and Edessa nigropunctata Berg, 1884. Field and laboratory observations showed that males remain with their eggs and early hatched nymphs, while females abandon the eggs after oviposition. Guarding males defensive behaviors towards their clutches were similar to those described for guarding females of pentatomids. Since there is no detailed information on the internal phylogeny of Pentatomidae, it is not possible to make a robust inference on whether paternal care in L. augur and E. nigropunctata has arisen independently or not. If the latter, the two new cases of paternal care we describe here represent the fifth event of independent evolution of this rare behavioral trait in Heteroptera.

Edessa nigropunctata; egg guarding; evolution; Lopadusa augur


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